7 Valuable Secrets to Effectively Price Yard Sale Items

7 Valuable Secrets to Effectively Price Yard Sale Items

Yard sales can help you declutter your home while making a little extra money but the dilemma of what to charge for your items can get in the way of all the fun. If you charge too much money, your items won’t sell and you’ll be left with clutter. If you charge too little, even though you’ll declutter, you’ll hardly make any money for all your efforts. To find the right balance between the two, you just have to follow a few tips and tricks.

Here are 7 valuable secrets to effectively price yard sale items:

1. Price items between 10-45% of their original value. Yard sale shoppers are looking for a bargain. So, it’s important to keep things pretty inexpensive. If you remember what you paid for an item originally, use that as a starting point and pick prices that reflect both the value and the condition of the item. Higher end or speciality items in excellent condition can fetch closer to 45% of what they would new. But lower end or common items should always range closer to 10-20% of the price new.  These lower prices account for wear and tear and age. No matter how nice an item is, however, beware of “emotional pricing”. This is when people price items much too high because of their sentimental value. Emotionally priced items don’t sell.

2. Do some research. If you can’t remember what you originally paid for an item or if it is a rare or speciality item, look it up online. Sites like eBay can give you a good idea of what people are willing to pay for a specific item.

To get a better idea of what locals are willing to pay, scout out some other yard sales a few weeks prior to holding your own. Write down what others were charging for similar items, and take note of whether or not buyers seemed interested.

3. Leave room for haggling. For large or expensive items, set the price a little higher than its estimated value. Buyers then have room to haggle the price down and you both are happier with the transaction. Before you even begin to sell, establish for yourself a minimum price and an ideal price. The minimum amount is the least you will accept for the item, the ideal the price is what you hope to get for the item. Price the item first at your ideal price, then allow buyers to haggle if they wish.

4. Price items by category. Some items are similar and can be grouped in a category, such as books, DVDs, and shoes. Price all of these items the same to make it easier on yourself and your customers. For instance, all paperback books cost 50 cents, hardcover books cost $1, DVDs cost $2, etc.

5. Offer bulk prices. Group together like items and offer a discount if customers buy many of the same type of item. For instance, you could sell hardcover books for $1 each or 7 for $5. This encourages customers to buy more, so you clear out the clutter that much faster.

6. Price everything before the sale starts. There are many people who are uncomfortable asking about or offering a price so a potential buyer might walk away from unpriced items. Even if you’re blessed with plenty of buyers that are not shy to ask about prices, when you have to think on your feet, you may not come up with the best price. You’ll also be deciding on the fly whether or not you want to haggle or if your price is firm. That can often spell losing a sale.

7. Make the prices easily visible. Once you decide what to charge, label each item clearly with its price. Neon colored stickers or tags work well because they stand out. Use a marker to write the price on the sticker or tag as large as possible. If customers can’t find the price of an item, they may not think it’s worth the bother to ask you. So, unclear prices can cause you to lose customers.